September 2022 NICA News

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Contents • September 2022 Articles & Features 04 This Month’s New & Renewal Members 05 President’s Message 07 Director’s Voice 08 Riffing With Rey: What’s the Buzz? 10 Association Announcements 12 Thriving Partnerships with Sysco 13 Thoughts From a CCE 18 2022 Scholarship Recipients: 14 Meet the Candidates Foundation to Thrive! 16 NICA Marketplace, November 6-8: 28 Save the Dates for 2023: Reserve Your Together We Will Share Ideas, Hotel Room Starting this Month Networking, Products & Services 31 From the Camera Roll 33 2022 Membership Contest


Wow, can you believe there are over five pizza-related holidays in September? Although this dish has existed in various forms since antiquity, the name “pizza” was coined over a thousand years ago in the year 997. Its modern-day equivalent surfaced in the 1800s and it has since become one of the most popular foods in and out of the Fairgrounds. Some say, even in the world! We are proud to have more than 125 members who specialize in this delicious Fair staple. “Together We Can!”

AdvertiSers 30 Alpha Baking 06 Berk Concession Supply 29 Brakebush Brothers 02 Coca-Cola 29 Corfu Foods 33 Cusumano & Sons

30 Fanestil Meats 11 Fare Foods 33 Gold Medal 34 Heinkel’s 29 Hummel Group 15 K&K 11 Swanel Beverage 34 WNA

NICA is a membership-driven organization dedicated to strengthening relationships with the Fair, Festival, and Special Events Industries through effective communication, education, benefits, leadership, and solutions. National Independent Concessionaires Association, Inc. is a Florida Corporation with an Editorial and General Office located at 1043 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, FL 33511 • Off ice: (813) 438-8926 • Fax: (813) 803-8460 • Online: The information contained in this Publication is based upon sources believed to be reliable. Readers should not act without professional advice. Cover to Cover © 1993-2022 NICA, Inc. All Rights Reserved. “Foundation to Thrive!” September 2022 NICA News


This Month’s Newest Members Aaron Ail

Miki Martin

Kendra Romero

Michael Martin

Casey Osborne

Donna Ruhm

Festival Food Services LLC Salem, OR Funnel Cake Express Willows, CA

Funnel Cake Express Willows, CA Lakeside Products Sacramento, CA

The Ice Cream Place Prospect, OR

Larry Williams

Gripps Grills Catering Concessions Moore, SC

Donna Ruhm Vista, CA

Welcome to our 7 New NICA Members! See Page 33 for the 2022 Membership Contest Leaderboard. “Together We Can!”

This Month’s Member Renewals Rodney Albers

Todd Brauch

Brad Denton

Billy Fickling Sr. µ

RoseMarie Ash

Rebecca Breese

Russell DiPasquale µ

Bev Fisher, CFE

Constance Barham

Julie Broetsky

Family-A-’Fair’ Food Service, Inc. Hamburg, NY (1993)

Steve Cable

Dobos Concessions, Inc. Linden, MI (1995)

Rodney & Lisa ‘’LTD’’ LLC Newcastle, OK (2013) Bob’s Concessions Spring Hill, FL (2021) Hot Dog on a Stick San Marcos, CA (2007)

Sherry Bechler

Bechler Family Concessions Dundee, MI (1998)

Kurt Bechler

Bechler’s Fun Foods Bad Axe, MI (2009)

Tracy Becker, IOM, PaCCE, CFEE

The Allegheny Toyota Autumn Leaf Festival Clarion, PA (2003)

Dustin Beener

Hardenbrook Concessions Urbandale, IA (2002)

Raymond Bianco

Bianco’s Foods, LLC Anderson, SC (1995)

Daniel Bianco

Bianco’s Foods, LLC Anderson, SC (2005)

Michael Bliss

The Sleek Greek Glendale, AZ (2016)

Chance Boeger

Happy Day Pony Ride, Inc. Cherokee, CA (1998)

Vickie Bragg

The Donut Diner Chatham, MI (2006)


September 2022 NICA News

Happy D. Klown, LLC Lincoln, NE (2008) Washington County Fair, Inc. Greenwich, NY (2009) Broetsky Foods, Inc. Fountain Hills, AZ (1995) Bavarian Almond Shoppe Baltimore, OH (2000)

Clay Chester

Chester Built Trailers Ltd. Highland, IL (2021)

Tim Commerford

R.W. Commerford & Sons Goshen, CT (2007)

Denton Fun Foods LLC. Knoxville, TN (2019)

Paul Dobos

Krista Duncan

Block & Bridle Club at Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA (2021)

Patrick Dunham

Cousins Confections Inc. Raleigh, NC (2011)

David Easterwood µ

Shiawassee County Fair

Waymatic, Inc. South Fulton, TN (1993)

Janet Cox

Bryan Enloe

Corunna, MI (2010)

Red Barn Elephant Ears Kewanna, IN (2005)

Terri Crutchfield

Terri’s Berries Inc. Hemet, CA (2021)

Paul Davis µ

Florida Strawberry Festival Plant City, FL (1993)

Tommy Davis

Tommy D’s Enterprises Cave Creek, AZ (2011)

Perfect Pie LLC dba Leimon’s Pizzeria / GSH Food Services Inc dba The Hideaway Harlingen, TX (2010)

Holle Evert

Nebraska State Fair Grand Island, NE (2011)

Larry Fain

Fain’s Concessions / Taylor’s Doughboys Mayo, FL (2012)

Eddie Dearman

Classy Caboose Stephens City, VA (2010)

Ania Delahoyde

Extreme Food & Beverage Ukia, CA (2019)

McKinney Food Services Hughes Springs, TX (1993) Canfield Fair Canfield, OH (2003)

John Ford µ

Ford Foods English, IN (1993)

Peggy Fraser

Walworth County Fair Elkhorn, WI (2000)

Charles Giordano

C & C Concessions, Inc. La Verne, CA (2007)

Jennifer Giordano, CCE C & C Concessions, Inc. La Verne, CA (2007)

Kenneth Giordano

C & C Concessions, Inc. La Verne, CA (2013)

Fred Giovannoni, Jr. µ Mr. G’s Concessions New Boston, MI (1993)

Jana Granum

M and J Custom Engraving Sioux Falls, SD (1996)

John Henninger

Boone County Fair Belvidere, IL (2017)

Dale Hershberger

Audio Innovators Riverview, FL (2010)

►► “Renewals” continued on page 32 µ 1993-2002

2003-2007 2008-2012 2013-2021

President’s Message Daryl Whicheloe, CCE, President

The Cost of Doing Business

I hope you are all having a great and profitable Summer. For me, I am about two-thirds of the way through my season went as we relaxed together. I think beer was $5 and can see the light at the a glass at the time. A new beer company came end of the tunnel. It has been in about three years ago and raised the price to a good year for the most part. $9 a glass. That first year we got together in the The labor issue really hasn’t evening and the main topic of the day was how changed that much and I expensive the beer was and we only had two beers am forced to do more with less. By reducing the each now. The next year less of us gathered every number of food stands I operate each week has night and only had one beer and now we don’t go helped with some of the labor deficiencies and at all. This is my concern for our Industry. Staying also I have learned by eliminating one or two relevant to our Fair Guest is critical to our future. stands my gross sales may drop a bit but my net Understanding what you need to charge, what you really hasn’t changed that much. Doing more with want to charge, and what the market is willing to less isn’t all that bad. I truly see a trend in this pay is important to our survival. direction for our Industry and the rest of the world. Having said that, I was at a large event in My biggest concern is the cost of doing California this Spring that charged $40 for General business. We have all seen our fuel, labor, and Parking and $22 for a beer, while the place was food costs increase quite a bit this year packed, I still do not think this is sustainable. so I understand the need to raise I would encourage you all to look at the prices on our menus. My your businesses as if it was your concern is that I am seeing Grandmother or Granddaughter “I feel some price increases from at your counter buying from the pain at the gas Concessionaires that are you. What would their beyond the cost increases assessment be? station, grocery we are incurring. There I always have, and still store, and any appears to be an opinion believe in buying the best entertainment out there that “the quality food items I can activities I do, so I customer will pay it so let’s and charging a premium know our fair guests charge more.” I do not see for my products. Quality is are experiencing this as a sustainable way to very important in our Industry do business. today. The NICA team is doing this alsO.” I feel the pain at the gas a great job of providing quality station, grocery store, and any benefits and services to you our entertainment activities I do, so I members and also to the Fair Industry know our Fair Guests are experiencing as a whole. I am proud to work with this this also. At some point I truly feel we will out price group of individuals who understand value and the ourselves and become less relevant to our Fair need to provide a quality product for a reasonable Guests. As an example, a fairly large Fair I have price. worked at for many years had a nice quiet beer I look forward to seeing as many of you as I garden near my stand where most evenings myself can as we work through our Summer season. If I and about five or six other Concessionaires would don’t see you in the next couple of months, I hope sneak off and have a couple (maybe three to four) I see you in Las Vegas this November for the NICA beers every night. We would discuss how the day Marketplace event. ▲ September 2022 NICA News


Joe Potillo, Jr. Greg Miller, CCE Tom Sattler, CCE Russ Harrison, CCE Richard Busse, CCE Officers Tom Hodson, CCE President: Daryl Whicheloe, CCE st 1 Vice President: Vincent Nelson, CCE Jim Hodson, CCE (Deceased) Tim O’Brien, CCE 2nd Vice President: Kim Barr, CCE Ron Smith Treasurer: Dan Lusenhop Adam McKinney, CCE Secretary: Jacqueline Bradbury, CCE Mike Pence, CCE Jack Woods, II, CCE Directors Bob Hallifax, CCE Brandy Arredondo, CCE Frank Parnell, CCE Phil Delahoyde Larry Orme (Deceased) Kelly Grout Larry Sivori Thomas Hodson, CCE Rich Wright Stacey Pittroff-Barona Bill McKinney, CCE Jeff Thornberry, CCE Arthur Pokorny, Jr. Jay Wells, CCE Gene O’Brien, CCE (Deceased)

Past Presidents’ Council

Sandy Class, CCE Don Delahoyde, CCE Kathy Ross, CCE Dan Lusenhop Dominic Palmieri, CCE Paulette Keene, CCE


Executive Director: Rey O’Day

Office & Membership Manager: Linda Frisco

Communications & Marketing Manager • NICA News Editor: Jesse Willard

East Council Coordinator & Social Media Coordinator: Jessica Gottsche

Midwest Council Coordinator: Dennis Larson, CFE

Event Planning Coordinator: Kathy Ross, CCE


east Council

Bary Bunts, CCE Ryan Collmer Ryan Hagy Thomas Hodson, CCE Patty Tessari Michael Zdebiak, Jr.

Midwest Council

Connie Boesen Sandy Class, CCE Paulette Keene, CCE Bruce Kozelou James McConnell Matt Ribar Brad Schroder April Smith

President: Audrey Poole West Council Vice President: Greg Miller, CCE Brandy Arredondo, CCE Treasurer: Jennifer Giordano, CCE Jodi Dirksen Secretary: Rey O’Day Irene Dugan Trustees: Jan Gary, CCE Kim Barr, CCE Gigi Horowitz Carmel Dyer-Pittroff, CCE Ryan Long Mark Lancaster Kara Moederndorfer, CCE Don Kenna Ryann Newman Vincent Nelson, CCE Steve Vartanian Larry Sivori

Do you have any questions or would like to get involved with NICA? Contact us at (813) 438-8926 or today!


September 2022 NICA News

Director’s Voice

Jacqueline Bradbury, CCE, Secretary

Wow, the last two years have been challenging in so many ways but also rewarding in so many others. We’ve learned how to change our businesses plus enjoy our families at the same time. We’ve had Summers off that we’ve never had off before, we’ve learned how to deal with challenges that we’ve never had to deal with before, and we’ve all survived it just like our year’s motto, “Thriving While Surviving!” Each year the NICA Board is divided in groups where we focus on Strategic Planning Goals. This year I am serving as the Chair of the Membership Committee, which focuses each year on strengthening membership in many ways through recruitment, communication, and engagement.

Strengthening the NICA Membership

I am proud that we are hitting the marks so far this year. Our most important goal is to increase and retain members, which we have expanded immensely from last year! To encourage our Membership to recruit New Members, we are once again creating an engraved Championship Belt for whoever brings the most members in for the 2022 NICA Membership Contest. I encourage you to join! See the box below for more information and prizes, as well as the Leaderboard on Page 33. I am very thankful for the Industry that we’re in and that we can deal with this with our sister organization partnerships with IAFE, OABA, WFA, and State Associations. I hope everyone can be in Vegas for NICA Marketplace in November and enjoy our Industry together! ▲

On Your Marks... Get Set... Go! The 2022 NICA Membership Contest is Thriving! NICA is a membership-driven organization founded to serve its members by strengthening relationships with the Fair, Festival and Special Events Industries through effective communication, education, benefits, leadership, and solutions. Growing our membership is what vitalizes “Together We Can!” Inviting New Members and renewing current members is something we, as the NICA Membership, should be doing whenever possible. Coca-Cola generously sponsors our NICA Membership Contest with three different prizes, with NICA sponsoring one prize. Like 2021’s contest, this year all of the Renewing Members’ names will be placed in the Coca-Cola grand prize drawing for the $2,000 Gift of Travel Voucher. A NICA Member who successfully refers a new

or former member receives one chance for each one to win $500, and a member of NICA Leadership also gets a chance for a separate $500 drawing. The NICA Member who refers the most members automatically gets a Free Membership, $100, and an engraved Championship Belt. Get your name in the game! Applications (both downloadable and digital) can be found online at, on the inside back cover of each issue of NICA News, or by request from the NICA Office. Contact us at at (813) 428-8926 for more details. Good luck! ▲ September 2022 NICA News


Riffing With Rey

Rey O’Day, Executive Director

So, what’s the buzz? I was speaking with a member earlier today who called for his NICA Membership Number. He planned to write it on the front page of his Membership Directory so he could find it easily when signing up with NICA Benefit companies. Great idea. Where do you keep yours? Wallet, truck, laptop, directory, phone, forearm, post-it, memory? Keep it handy… It is your passport to savings. This month’s story is Inflation!! The December 27, 2021 Christian Science Monitor observed, “Today the price of everything from cars to cantaloupes has surged as the economy roars back from its Pandemic depths and consumers rush to make purchases they have put off.” That is a perfect description of what we experienced last Fair season and are experiencing this Fair season. The article continues, “More money chasing insufficient goods is the classic recipe for inflation.” We know our Fair Guest is facing the same concerns, yet there still seems to be a pentup demand, some supply chains are ironing themselves out, and the change in disposable income is encouraging “staycations” which is always good for Fairs. Marilu Henner says “My number one key to a good life is how well you deal with plan B. Plan A is what you plan for, but Plan B is what actually happens.” Good advice… let’s plan AND be prepared for what actually happens. September means bunches of Fairs are going on which means our members are hosting gatherings in Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, California, North Carolina, New York, and Massachusetts to name a few. Food, Friendship, Fundraising, and Fun are all part of the experience. Enjoy one or two or three… 8

September 2022 NICA News

What’s the Buzz? Tell Me What’s Happening!

Besides Fairs going on everywhere, the flurry for the NICA Staff is preparing for the NICA Marketplace where Concessionaires, Commercial Exhibitors, Space Sales Managers, Vendor Managers, Fair Managers, and Trade Show Associates will gather for 48 hours, November 6th to 8th, in Las Vegas at the Tuscany Suites and Casino. As of this moment while writing, it is less than 75 days away! The big question I am being asked is “What are we going to do in Vegas?” or “What are the Topics?” Here is a Sneak Preview!!!*

Trade Show Exhibitors Include • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Beach Cities Wholesalers Berk Concession Supply Boxed Water is Better Concession Mall Entegra Fare Foods Fiserv Good Source Solutions Holten Meats Hummel Group The Langlois Company NICA Sysco Smithfield/Farmland & More!

*Event details are subject to change. Visit for updates.

“How To” Workshop Series • • • • • • • • • • •

How to Price Shop and Find Comparable Products How to Clover (Tipsters / Hands On) How to Use NICA Benefits How to Attract Media Attention How to Create a Food Safety Program How to Fill Out the CCE Application How to Use Event Hub How to Use the Goodyear Fleet Tire Finder How to Speak With Confidence How to Say NO Using Professional Etiquette How to Work with Propane

Educational Sessions • • • • • • • • • • •

What is Your Exit Strategy / Succession Planning Payment Options and Outcomes We Are in the Temporary Labor Business Supply Chain Sticker Shock / Pricing Challenges Menu Do Overs / Menu Management Safe Trucking Tips and Highway Updates Why 1% is Not 1% at the Bottom Line Meet the Next Generation of Concessionaires Entertainment Increases Business What Creates Net Profit for Fairs and Vendors? Can Concessionaires Afford to Operate at Your Rent Structure?

Commercial Exhibitor Sessions • • • • • •

The Ever, Ever-Changing Landscape of Commercial Exhibits Location! Location! Location! The Nuts and Bolts of Successful Selling The Commercial Exhibits and Sponsorship Conundrum Where Do We Go From Here? Trade Show Exhibitors

Roundtable Box Lunch Sessions • • • • • • • • •

Future of Sustainable / Plant-Based / Green Products What Creates Length of Stay and Why Does it Matter? Fair Hours Price of Bottled Water Tipping Policies Menu Duplication Multi-Year Contracts What Should the Public See or Not See? Single Item Stands vs. 711 Stands

Special Events • • •

Welcome Hospitality Reception Keynote with Michael Bradley, “Think Like Walt” Regional Advisory Council Breakfast

• • • • • •

Generation Forward Social Sysco Warehouse Tour Trade Show Happy Hour Who Takes the Trailer Home? Cornhole Contest (NICA branded set on display) Industry Leader Closing Celebration

It also means preparing for other upcoming conventions in both 2022 and 2023:

2022 IAFE Convention & Trade Show: “Fairs United” Our traditional in-person Board of Directors meeting, where we evaluate the current year and start planning for the next one, will take place during IAFE. So will our collegial Advisory Committee Luncheon. We will help raise money for the IAFE Education Foundation, network at our booth, participate in a new sister organization session, provide NICA blue notebooks for attendees, and host the “Two Views of the Food & Beverage Coin­—A Conundrum,” where we will applaud that Food and Beverage is one of the primary reasons people come to the Fair and ponder how to ease the complaints regarding the price of food and beverage at the Fair. Does price positively, negatively, or not at all influence the perception of food?

2023 NICA Business Expo & Fare Foods Food Show: “All In!” The NICA Business Expo and Fare Foods Food Show is also just around the 2023 corner. The theme is “All In!” We will celebrate President’s Weekend, Valentine’s Day, and Florida Week by attending a tasty Food Show, announcing the Hall of Fame recipient, installing a new Board, recounting achievements during the Annual Membership Meeting, announcing winners, supporting the NICA Foundation, and celebrating TOGETHER at the Annual Gala. It has been fun to share the “BUZZ” and “Tell You What’s Happening!” Stay tuned, there will only be more as we “Roar Through the Summer Together.” ▲ September 2022 NICA News



Announcements Do you have any announcements you would like to share? Contact us at (813) 438-8926 or

Our Deepest Condolences to the Dills Family We are saddened to share the news of the passing of Robert Dills, founder of the UniGlide Trailer Company, longtime NICA Member, and father of Doug Dills, Dills Concessions. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, who shared the following tribute online: Robert W. Dills, originally from Clyde, OH, peacefully passed away Sunday, August 7, 2022, with family by his side. Robert graduated from Defiance College in Ohio going on to teach math and coach basketball. Upon moving his family to Florida, Robert begin operating Cotton Candy Concessions in the Carnival Industry. After passing that business on to his sons he opened up UniGlide Trailer manufacturing business in Venice, FL. Building trailers for the Carnival Industry alongside his wife Martha and daughter Michelle. Robert is preceded in death by his son Jeff Dills and wife Martha Dills. He is survived by his son Douglas Dills, daughter Michelle Wojcik, and many grandchildren. ▲

Apply for a NICA Foundation First Timer’s Convention Scholarship Have you always wanted to attend a NICA Convention but just haven’t committed to it? Whether it be because of expense, timing, or any other reason, the NICA Foundation is here to help get you there! We encourage you to apply for the First Timer’s Convention Scholarship, which offers an opportunity for NICA Members to attend a NICA Convention in 2022 and 2023. Jan Gary, CCE, West Council, and Karen Gary, Leap of Faith Adventures were the first recipients of the program in 2020, and wrote about their experiences: “Thank you for the opportunity to attend the NICA Business Expo. We enjoyed the opportunities to meet and share with Concessionaires from other parts of the country. The Food Show was delicious, plus we saw new ideas and products. The First Timer’s Scholarships definitely made it affordable at a time of year when we are watching the budget closely. It was a wonderful gift and a blessing to be in Tampa and meet new friends with the same focus and dedication to Fairs.” To learn more and apply online, visit ▲

Election Ballots Were Sent Out in August It’s that time of year again! This year’s Nominees for NICA’s Board of Directors are Jacqueline Bradbury, CCE, Sweet Cheeks; Bryan Enloe, Perfect Pie; and Jeff Thornberry, CCE, Pristine Systems. Read more about them in this issue on Page 14. Good luck to all Candidates! We sent out election ballots on August 15th to Voting Members. Members without email, nonworking emails, or those with a shared email address were sent the election ballot via mail. If you do not receive a mail ballot or have received an online ballot, but would prefer it to be sent by mail, make sure to reply to this email or contact (813) 438-8926. All votes must be in by October 30th to be counted. Thank you for your continued support! ▲ 10

September 2022 NICA News

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Fountain Syrup Dispensers and Ice Machines available for purchase. Talk to your FARE FOODS salesman today or call for details 800-651-1601 September 2022 NICA News


Thriving Partnerships Kevin Hourican, President & CEO, Sysco


Today, like many of you, Sysco is focused on addressing rising inflation—not only in our own business but also to mitigate the impact to your business. We’re negotiating aggressively with suppliers to limit higher prices and finding alternative sources of supply. In addition, our sales and culinary teams are providing solutions to help bolster your profitability such as introducing Sysco-brand products that bring greater value and supporting your efforts to streamline your menu and operate more efficiently. This dynamic environment highlights Sysco’s unique strength and resources to support your business not just during the best of times, but especially during the most difficult ones. Our people are the best in the business, driven by our purpose of Connecting the World to Share Food and Care for One Another. It’s why our Recipe for Growth continues to be so important. Our strategy is enabling us to work smarter to deliver a seamless customer experience, a stronger, more capable workforce and the Industry-leading service and value you expect and rely on. Recent achievements include: •


Sysco is also proud to announce substantial progress toward meeting our goal to electrify our fleet. We recently announced an agreement with Daimler Truck North America to deploy nearly 800 battery electric tractors to serve Sysco customers in the US by 2026, with the first of these vehicles arriving later this year. Our drivers love these trucks and we expect this will be another differentiating factor in attracting and retaining Industry-best driver talent. We’re also piloting new zero emission technology for our refrigerated trailers. The results so far have been promising and allow us to see not Implementing a full, six-day service week, only a cleaner future for transportation, but a much which increases our ability to serve our quieter one as well. customers and expand our delivery capabilities, Thank you for your business and the trust you while allowing our drivers to benefit from three place in Sysco. It means everything to us and days off each week to rest and recharge. We’re enabling your success inspires our team to be the excited about this new approach and greatly best and do the best for you. ▲ appreciate your willingness to partner with us in this important change. Ramping up our CDL Basic Training academy: Each of the recent graduates who were able to achieve their CDL previously worked in a warehouse role at Sysco. We believe this program will enhance our ability to deliver to you, improve retention in critical driver roles, and benefit our associates by increasing opportunities—a win-win-win for everyone. September 2022 NICA News

Have You Signed Up?

The NICA Sysco Marketplace is a program that was designed exclusively for NICA Members at no cost to enroll. Sign up is a snap! Contact your local Sysco Representative, Rebecca Kelley at or (281) 381-2222, and/or visit today.

Thoughts From a Charles Zell, CCE, 2000 CCE Recipient, Past Director & Owner of Chuck’s Foods

also helps keep us informed. In today’s growing market, you have to be willing to advance with new and better looking equipment to catch the public eye. You have to merchandise your Over the years that we product so the public will want to purchase your have been in business, items. You also need to be aware of local state my management and health requirements. These issues are of great communications have had to change with the times. Being in importance to you and to help keep the public safe. Communication with the Fair Directors and the Concession Food business, Festival Committee people has become a very big seeing Fairs and Festivals, I part of my job. As the Directors learn about our have noticed that you have to business and what organizations we belong to, approach this with an open mind. For one thing, there are never two years that they have realized that, yes, we are a food business are the same. They may vary from labor problems that is the life of their shows. They are more willing to ask for ideas on how to improve their event. to location problems to product shortages. So, I feel that we need to help keep our Directors when these problems arise, you learn how to informed on what is happening in the business so handle them. I feel that our Industry has taken a that we can grow and do a better job in serving the lot of steps forward. One of those steps is having public. We also need to get them involved in NICA an organization such as NICA to help inform us and State Organizations to help educate them of important things that we should know, but this along with us. ▲ is only one part of it. Our local State Association

What is a CCE?

of the following associations: IAFE, IFEA, OABA and/or WFA. The applicant must then complete a questionnaire, which uses a point system to determine their level of qualifications and Industry The Certified Concessionaire Executive involvement. They are also required to submit a Program was developed to recognize the professionalism of Concessionaires, with the title 150-200 minimum word personal philosophy of representing a deep understanding and respect for communication and management as it relates to the Fair Industry. The applicant must send the Fair and Festival business and indicates that the application, supporting materials, and $90 the titleholder will perform with the highest level of professionalism. Before applying, the applicant administrative fee to the NICA Office. All you have to do to get started is visit the CCE must have a minimum of seven years as a fullwebsite online at to gain time Chief Operating Manager of an Independent access to all versions of the application, whether Concession Business and be a current member of you would like to print it or complete it online. ▲ NICA, at least one State Association, and of one

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Meet the Candidates Meet the candidates seeking election to the 2023 NICA Board of Directors. All of them have a long history of NICA Membership and Service. We appreciate their commitment to serve NICA Members with their time, resources, and leadership. Their biography and nomination statements are below:

Jacqueline Bradbury, CCE Sweet Cheeks • Maricopa, AZ

I am a third generation Concessionaire, born in New Zealand and raised in the Carnival Industry in Australia. At 21 years of age I came to the United States to experience and learn how the Industry worked in other countries around the world. When I came to America, I started working for family friends at RCS. Shortly after that I met my husband at the IAFE Convention in Las Vegas, NV in 1995 through a mutual friend. From there we became the proud owners of Sweet Cheeks; my husband Brian and I own and operate Sweet Cheeks, Grandma Herzberg’s Pretzels, The Mac Shack, Hog Daddies, and The Road House Grill on a route that takes us through Texas, Arizona, California, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Australia. My husband Brian and I are raising a son and two daughters whom we believe will be the fourth generation of Concessionaires. As a member of NICA, IAFE, WFA, and OABA, I regularly attend workshops, conventions, and work passionately on H-2B concerns. I also support each organization by actively hosting and participating in fundraising events. My work with the NICA West Council and as NICA Board Secretary have increased my desire to serve the Industry through working in more leadership capacities. If re-elected, I would do my best to continue my work on these fronts.

Bryan Enloe

Perfect Pie • Harlingen, TX At only seven years old I began chasing those Midway lights, and I knew it was where I belonged. Growing up in the amusement arena allowed me to see the opportunities that life on the road will bring, though many hard lessons were learned at the same time. When I was a kid my family had Carnival games and I helped with some rides as a teenager in various Carnival companies. I switched to Food Concessions and I’ve been working in Food ever since. Branching out on my own in 1999, I began specializing in Pizza and Fried Treat stands around the Midwest and all the way down to the tip of Texas. Together my wife and I also own and operate The Hideaway at the Minnesota State Fair. We enjoy traveling with our children Joe, Danny, and Grant passing down the family tradition. We joined back when NICA was very first starting out and we’ve been supporters for a long time. I like that they stand up to represent us in the Industry, and the discounts are always a plus. Something that is affecting the whole Industry is inflation. The cost of goods and supplies has gone way up and it is safe to say that everybody is dealing with that. As a Board Member, I would love to research more benefits and bring them to NICA to help keep costs down, as well as anything that we can do to help the members as a whole. “Together We Can!” 14

September 2022 NICA News

Jeff Thornberry, CCE

Pristine Systems • St. George, UT I have been working at Fairs for 41 years, 29 as the owner of Pristine Systems, Inc., dba Gadgets And Neat Stuff. My wife Jo and I work tirelessly to present a unique quality product line in a highly entertaining style at Fairs and Rodeos, with eight shows in total. The friendships and acquaintances I have made within this Industry have enriched my life. More importantly, they have helped to shape me as a person. The stories, adventures, and hard work of my peers inspire me to do better as I continue down life’s path. I am a proud recipient of the WFA Barham Award, the NICA Certified Concessionaire Executive title, and I was the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s 2018 Salesman of the Year. I have served two years as the Commercial Exhibits Representative to WFA and three years on the WFA Board. I am a Past President of the College of the Desert Street Fair’s Merchant Association and I am currently finishing up two years of service on NICA’s Board of Directors. I also currently hold a seat on the IAFE Commercial Exhibits and Concession Committee and the NICA Commercial Exhibits Taskforce. I have come to realize that one of this Industry’s greatest strengths is its ability to embrace families as an important part of its infrastructure. In some instances, a family’s involvement within this business can span multiple generations and fill numerous roles. These familial connections are what make our Industry so resilient! If elected, I will continue my work focusing on these “Fair Families” and expanding the representation of Commercial Exhibitors within NICA and the Fair Industry.

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September 2022 NICA News


Dear Business Owners/Managers, Fair Industry Leaders, Trade Show Exhibitors, and YOU: we are proud to announce the upcoming NICA Marketplace Convention and Trade Show, taking place November 6-8, 2022 at the Tuscany Suites and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. In 48 hours you will network with colleagues, discuss practical solutions, enjoy storytelling, and return enriched. “Together We Can!” This inaugural event will feature a non-exclusive Trade Show, Educational Sessions led by hands-on 16 May September 2022 NICA 2022 News NICA News

Event Industry Thought Leaders, and Networking Opportunities that are welcome and comfortable—a place where we all understand we are Customers of each other and “Together” we share a Fair Guest to serve. The event will be held at the beautiful Tuscany Suites and Casino, Las Vegas, NV. $79 Room Rate Sunday, November 6th through Thursday, November 10th with no resort fee ($39 waived), suite sized rooms with kitchenettes, free Wi-Fi, and Free Parking! See you in Vegas!

Sunday, November 6, 2022 2:00 – 6:00 PM: Registration 4:00 – 7:00 PM: NICA Marketplace Welcome Hospitality Evening on your own

Monday, November 7, 2022 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM: Registration

2:00 – 3:15 PM: Educational Workshops 3:30 – 4:45 PM: Educational Workshops 5:00 – 8:30 PM: Marketplace Trade Show and Happy Hour Evening on your own

Tuesday, November 8, 2022 9:30 – 10:45 AM: Educational Workshops

9:30 – 10:45 AM: Marketplace General Session featuring Keynote Speaker Michael Bradley, “Think Like Walt,” and NICA Benefits Review, “Together We Can Save!”

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM: Marketplace Trade Show

11:00 AM – 12:15 PM: Educational Workshops

5:15 – 7:00 PM: Industry Excellence Reception

12:30 – 1:45 PM: Box Lunches and Roundtables

Evening on your own

1:15 – 2:15 PM: Ask Me Anything: Fair Leadership 2:30 – 3:30 PM: Ask Me Anything: Business Owners 3:45 – 5:00 PM: Educational Workshops

Schedule is subject to change; visit and check NICA Now! for updates.

Early Bird Pricing Ends October 13th

Book Your Hotel Room Online

Register yourself and additional attendees for NICA Marketplace by October 13th to save $50! After that date, all registrations will increase to the $149 Member or $179 Non-Member registration rate. All you have to do is select the link online at or in NICA Now! emails and log into your NICA Membership Account to receive your member rate.

Book your hotel reservation at $79 with no resort fee at by selecting your check-in and check-out dates, along with your occupancy needs. Don’t delay!

Contact the NICA Office at (813) 438-8926 if you do not have a login account or need assistance. On-site registration will increase an additional $50 per person.

Note: Room block rate of $79 and waived resort fee ends October 13, 2022.

Become a NICA Marketplace Exhibitor Reserve your Marketplace Trade Show Booth for $1,095 (two attendee registrations, draped space and Exhibitor ID sign, 8’ x 10’ location, and more included) at

Marketplace Membership Promotion: When registering, add or become a new NICA Member for $100 and you will also get the $99 Early Bird rate ($80 savings)

September 2022 NICA News


2022 Scholars Foundation to Thrive! The NICA Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of the 2022 NICA Scholarship Recipients. After a thorough, confidential, and anonymous review of the many applications received, the NICA Foundation is proud to award 17 scholarships this year, for a total of $33,500, to our commendable Scholarship Recipients. Three anonymous members within the Fair Industry were selected to be the Scholarship Readers. The copies that they received were redacted so there is no evidence of who the Applicant might be. The Readers work individually

on each entry, allotting points for eight categories. Afterwards, they submit their results to the NICA Office where they are tallied, averaged, and ranked by average score. “We are confident that our Scholarship Recipients and Applicants will do great things with their education in our Industry and/or on their own individual path,” NICA Foundation President Audrey Poole said. “This Scholarship Program is the foundation for future students to learn, grow, and THRIVE!” NICA wants to thank everyone who is involved in this process. Congratulations to all!

25th Anniversary Scholarship Olivia Owens

Florida State University

Olivia Owens, of Tampa, FL, daughter of Ron and Beth Owens, Blue Moon Tavern at the Park, is receiving the $4,000 25th Anniversary Scholarship. She is continuing her education at Florida State University to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering. She will be graduating next spring. She has been working in the Concession business since she was 12: “It’s been an absolute privilege to be a part of the Fair Industry and work in our family business. Initially, I was overwhelmed and shell-shocked having to work alongside other employees who were more experienced and older than me. I had no idea about the importance of hard work and discipline. Ten years later, I feel so lucky to be able to have had that exposure at such a young age.” This taught her important lessons about “perseverance, adaptation, and attention to detail.” She explained, “There are no shortcuts or secrets to success in this Industry. It is during these times that real character building happens.” After graduation, Olivia plans to earn her Master of Science in Civil Engineering with a specialization in Structural Engineering. She said, “In the engineering field, I will have to work long hours, I will have to be as accurate as possible, and some days will be challenging and discouraging. The Fair Industry has taught me to take one day at a time, be the best version of myself, and always have a positive attitude. I have been taught to adapt to the situation to ensure we deliver the best quality product. This skill is crucial to 18

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ship Recipients my success in the engineering field. I have an excellent work ethic and I am confident that I can adapt and be successful in any environment or workplace setting. Additionally, the Concessions Industry has taught me to take pride in my work. I am so fortunate to be able to say that I learned it all from the Fair!” Olivia has earned recognition on the Florida State University Dean’s List and serves as Vice President of Operations for the Delta Delta Delta Sorority. She has been described as “exemplary,” a “strong team player,” having an “attention to detail,” and a “dedication to doing what is right.”

Coca-Cola CCE Scholarship Devin Coffman

Brigham Young University

Devin Coffman, from Wabash, IN, is the son of Jared and Marie Coffman and grandson of Sam Coffman, Coffman Concessions, and is receiving the $3,000 Coca-Cola CCE Scholarship. After graduation, he will be attending Brigham Young University to study Biochemistry and Pre-Med. Having worked in Concessions since he was young, he shared, “Learning to work hard is an invaluable skill when working as a Concessionaire.” He explained, “One of my managers references people who work exceptionally hard as ‘shifting up a gear’ when they start giving the job their all. When it’s closing day of the Three Rivers Festival and I’m pushing elephant ears out the front window as hard as I can for the last few hours before the event closes, I can either ‘shift up a gear’ or get out of my coworker’s way. In this orderly chaos it’s apparent that if any single person lets up, the whole machine can come to a halt.” Although Devin is still in high school, he is on his way to earning an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration before he graduates, utilizing his knowledge of business to open his own medical practice after college. He said, “While at face value, being a Concessionaire might seem completely different from being a physician, they share many important skills. Being able to ‘shift up a gear’ as I move into the field of medicine past college will help me be a greater asset to my medical team and make a difference in the lives of my future patients. Working as a Concessionaire has helped me obtain the skills of hard work, responsibility and integrity and will leave me a stronger person and a better physician. Just like I learned in an elephant ear trailer, in my future career in medicine I’ll ‘shift up a gear’ and prepare to give it my all.” Devin has served with the Boy Scouts, is a three-year Varsity athlete, and participates in many community volunteer projects. He is known by others to exhibit “self-discipline, academic prowess, and leadership,” is “extremely driven,” and is respected for his “work ethic and his professionalism.” ►► “Scholarship Recipients” continued on page 20 September 2022 NICA News


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Regional Councils’ Scholarship Kylie Kastl

Arizona State University

Kylie Kastl, of Casa Grande, AZ, is the daughter of Frank and Kay Kastl, Kastl Amusements, and is receiving the $3,000 Regional Councils’ Scholarship. She is continuing her education at Arizona State University to pursue a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering and Astronautics. Kylie spent her childhood surrounded by Carnival rides and an everchanging setting “that revolved like a carousel.” She explained, “My life on the Carnival made me into who I am today; without it, I would have never developed the qualities that made me motivated and successful. Every Summer since I was born my family would leave for California. During this time our home would become the San Diego County Fair and later in July, the Ventura County Fair. During these summers, I learned qualities such as hard work, determination, patience, customer service, and conflict management. I began learning this at the young age of eight when I would follow my parents around like a shadow. As I grew older I began doing these things on my own and taking on more difficult tasks to help out.” Kylie credits her Dad when it comes to her future career goal as an Aerospace Engineer: “My Dad always taught me how things operate by helping me take them apart and put them back together. These real-world technical skills and strong leadership qualities will help me stand out amongst my peers when I can lead team projects and be a knowledgeable engineer, both in college and in my career.” She graduated high school as the Salutatorian and has since earned a Leadership Development Award during her first year in college. Kylie is described as an “absolute super star“ who is “committed to quality,” has “tenacity and a strong work ethic,” and is a “natural leader.”

Hall of Fame Scholarship Sam Beach

United States Naval Academy

Sam Beach, from Hillsdale, MI and the son of Barbara and Rodney Beach of Beach Concessions, is receiving the $3,000 Hall of Fame Scholarship. He will be attending the United States Naval Academy for his third year, studying Operations Research. Sam shared, “The Fair Industry has been an incredibly prominent part of my life. My involvement in the Fair Industry started at an age when I was old enough to make change. From that point, my parents would take me with them to the Fairs and Festivals that they were working at and I would get 20

September 2022 NICA News

the experience of working ‘the window.’ My role in this Industry eventually progressed to the setup and teardown process before and after events. It was in this role that I learned the complexities of getting a trailer on location, leveling it out, getting power and water, and unpacking the trailer.” Through his involvement with the Fair Industry, he has learned many lessons, such as “the comradery and personal connections that my Dad has made and has taught me how to make.” He explained, “Being in the Concession Industry, many things can go wrong, But what I love and what I find to make this field of work incredibly special is the respect that Vendors have for each other and the helping hand that they always lend to others. That type of respect, companionship, and trust is incredible.” He shared, “If there is one word to describe my Father and his commitment to the Concession business it is hardworking. He, as well as people I’ve met through Fairs and Festivals, taught me that a hardworking mindset and a good attitude will get you far in life. I always try to carry these values and aspects of the Concession business into my personal life and my time here at the Naval Academy.” After graduation, Sam wants to commission as a Marine Corps Officer. He is known as a “man of strong character,” who is “motivated to work towards his own success and eager to help others.”

Leadership Scholarship Kennedy Tutak

Hamline University

Kennedy Tutak, of Faribault, MN, is the daughter of Kelly and Chancy Tutak, and granddaughter of NICA Member Brad Schroder, Schroder Concessions, Inc. She is receiving the $2,500 NICA Leadership Scholarship and will be continuing her undergraduate education at Hamline University. She plans to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Neuroscience, with minors in Pre-Med and Political Science. Kennedy has been involved in the Concession business for many years: “How many years, might you ask? The answer is 19 years, AKA my whole life. I was born into this Industry, as my grandfather owns his own Concessions business. It was a lot of fun! I still intend to (and hope to) work at the Fair as much as I possibly can.” One of the biggest things she’s learned about while working in the Fair Industry is patience and a more well-developed ability to communicate with others. She explained, “I have been able to develop my social skills through working at the Fair, and these skills will be critical in helping my future patients. Additionally, my ‘developed patience’ will be a crucial skill to use, not only in my dream career in psychiatry, but also as I go through the process of being accepted into medical school and graduating into the medical field.” She stated, “While the Fair Industry may not be the most glamorous Industry and job out there, it has been built into my life since birth. In the past 6-7 years that I’ve spent working at Fairs, I’ve learned many new things. I’ve learned the importance of patience, why to be kind to those that serve us (even if they aren’t in the most prestigious job), and how to effectively work with and serve others. These skills will no doubt follow me into the rest of my life and help me immensely as I seek to fulfill my dreams.” While in college, Kennedy has earned University Honors and volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters among other roles. She is described by others as “passionate,” an “an excellent student,” an “inquisitive problem solver,” and able to think both “inside” and “outside of the box.” ►► “Scholarship Recipients” continued on page 22 September 2022 NICA News


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Arthur Pokorny Visionary Scholarships

Hailey Miller

Grand Canyon University

Hailey Miller is from Sun Prairie, WI and is the daughter of Monica and Doug Miller and granddaughter of Charlie and Mary Miller, Charlie’s Food Concessions. She is receiving a $2,000 Arthur Pokorny Visionary Scholarship and will be attending Grand Canyon University for a Double Major Bachelor’s Degere in Hospitality Management and Entrepreneurial Studies. For six generations, Hailey’s family has been traveling to Fairs and selling food: “I have been involved in the Fair Industry my entire life!” She shared, “One would think that some of the greatest things you will learn before you become an adult would be learned at school, but for me, my greatest lessons were mostly learned while working at the Fair. I believe that being a hard worker is one of the most important qualities that someone can have, and there is no doubt that is what working in the Fair Industry taught me.” The lessons that she learned watching and helping her parents run their own business have given her a lot of firsthand experience that will help her in the entrepreneurial field. She said, “I most likely will open my own business doing something creative such as having an event venue or selling flower arrangements. Something else that interests me is planning and managing Fairs since I really do love the Fair Industry.” Hailey stays involved with her community by participating with a refugee ministry and other local faith groups. She is described by others as “diligent and dedicated,” having a “strong work ethic and motivation to succeed,” and is known for her “kind, caring, and sweet personality.”

Lauren Distad

George Mason University

Lauren Distad, of Roseville, MN and daughter of Diane Holmgren, is an employee of Stacey Pittroff-Barona, Giant Ride. She is receiving a $2,000 Arthur Pokorny Visionary Scholarship and is currently attending George Mason University to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She started working the Fair Industry in 2017 with the Giant Slide at the Minnesota State Fair. She shared, “After a couple of years working at the Slide, I was then moved to the Cheese-On-a-Stick Concession booth. I have learned a lot throughout the past five years. All of these skills I have learned shaped me to be a better and more caring person and employee. I love the Fair business and how much joy and pleasure it brings to the customers and people in the community.” As she plans to become a Physician’s Assistant, she will utilize her “customer service skills to treat patients and not only provide the best service, but also the best care.” At George Mason University, Lauren is on the Division 1 Women’s Lacrosse Team and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. She said, “I brought the skills of teamwork and knowing how to effectively communicate with others, being a leader for a group of people with a common goal, follow directions and be open to new ideas, and work long hours and show up early.” She is known as a “rare gem,” with “excellent work ethic,” and having “strived and maintained high standards in each facet of her life.” 22

September 2022 NICA News

Fare Foods Visionary Scholarship Macey Kenna

Marian University

Macey Kenna, from Lebanon, IN, is the daughter of Cecelia and Don Kenna of Dickerson and Kenna Concessions, and is receiving the $2,000 Fare Foods Visionary Scholarship. She is continuing her education this year at Marian University to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Management. Since Macey’s parents are Concessionaires, she has been “working Fairs” her entire life. She shared, “Because of how I grew up on the road it not only shaped my personality but also my academic goals. My parents always told me that I would never meet a stranger, and I know this is because of the people and relationships I made while traveling with them. I was always interested in how others ran their Concession stands, and why they did what they did.” This is how she learned how to run a small business. She explained, “I have learned through the Fair Industry that you should always ask questions because there is nothing wrong with wanting to understand.” She hopes to take after her family business: “Finding the path that works specifically for me is finding the best route to take as a traveling Concessionaire.” At Marian University, Macey is a cheerleader and a Student Orientation Leader. According to others, she is willing to “conquer anything that she puts her mind to,” and has “the ability to think fast on her feet, handle situations professionally, and treat everyone like she is trying to sell them a funnel cake.”

Hummel Group Visionary Scholarship Savannah Grout

Westfield State University

Savannah Grout, from Ware, MA, is the daughter of Cathy and Kelly Grout, Jack’s Fries. She is receiving the $2,000 Hummel Group Visionary Scholarship and is continuing her education at Westfield State University to earn her Bachelor of Art Degree in Art Animation. “The Fair Industry has always been a part of my life,” she shared. “My Grandfather started his business in 1962 and later passed it down to my Father. Having been in this Industry from a young age, I have learned so much and have been shown many valuable things.” She explained, “As the third generation in this business, I have worked alongside and met some of the most amazing and hardworking people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Each has helped me to become the woman I am today.” Savannah’s focus on balancing her schooling and working has influenced her career choice of becoming a freelance animator. She shared, “Being allowed to choose my opportunities will ensure that ►► “Scholarship Recipients” continued on page 24 September 2022 NICA News


“Scholarship Recipients” continued from page 23 ►► I can choose a career path that I know I will be happy in as well as help ensure that I will continue to push myself to work harder.” Throughout her years in high school and college Savannah participated in “many different activities and volunteered as much as [she] could.” She has been described by others as “a hardworking and enthusiastic leader,” with “strong work ethic” and a “caring nature and personality.”

Norma Jean & Edgar Sivori Visionary Lilly Underberg

Connor’s State College

Lilly Underberg is from Springville, NY and is the daughter of Mark and Jessica Underberg, Erie County Fair. She is receiving the $2,000 Norma Jean and Edgar Sivori Visionary Scholarship and is pursuing an Agricultural Education degree at Connor’s State College. Lilly has been showing pigs at Fair competitions since she was eight years old: “I was extremely shy but I developed a profound love for pigs. I was thrilled to go to the County Fair each year because I got to see all my friends and I got to show the judge all the hard work that I had put into my hog project.” The one thing she looked forward to the most was to educate the public. She shared, “I would answer questions from the Fairgoers all day long, for twelve days straight.” This knack for education has directly led to her career choice. She explained, “Showing livestock and working at Fairs helped shape my future by creating the venue that brought out my passion, which is educating the public about agriculture. It has also helped me learn to figure out what I want out of life.” When Lilly was in high school, she served in leadership for the Springville FFA Chapter, was active with 4-H, and spoke at the 2019 IAFE Convention. She is known for being “extremely dedicated,” and “respectful, tenacious, focused, and kind,” with a “caring nature and upbeat personality.”

McConnell Family Visionary Scholarship

Gage Morgenstern

Southern Illinois University

Gage Morgenstern, of DuQuoin, IL, is the son of Douglas and Marsha Morgenstern, Fare Foods, and is receiving the $2,000 McConnell Family Visionary Scholarship. He will be attending Southern Illinois University where he will be earning a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. “There have been many instances at the Fair in which I have seen how the Concessions and the Fair Industry works,” Gage shared. “Seeing everyone running around enjoying the Fair and witnessing the workers at the Fair striving to make their businesses thrive is something a child can look up to for 24

September 2022 NICA News

Thank You to Our Sponsors Thank you to the 2022 Scholarship Program Sponsors: Arthur Pokorny, Barb Wilson Enterprises; Coca-Cola; Laura and Ron Porter, Fare Foods; Phil Teague, Hummel Group; Lawrence Sivori, Sivori Catering; and James and Larry McConnell, CCE, McConnell Concessions.

The additional fundraising efforts of the NICA Foundation Board of Trustees, NICA Past Presidents and Board of Directors, the NICA Regional Councils and the NICA Membership help to ensure this program truly makes a difference in the lives of our young people.

their future career.” In the past few years, he learned more through his Father, who works in the Industry. He explained, “Lessons about having a strong work ethic and working to succeed will be applied because it is necessary to have dedication in order to be able to become a successful person.” His anticipated career is to eventually become a business owner himself: “I have seen how profitable you can be if you work your way up to becoming an owner yourself. Some of my goals that are put in place to succeed in this career are to work hard, have dedication, and to do everything I can do to better myself.” Gage graduated high school as the Salutatorian and was an active volunteer. He is described by others as having “incredible potential,” a “wonderful personality,” and “an academic drive that will carry him far in life.”

Visionary Scholarship Autumn McDaniel

Texas Tech University

Autumn McDaniel is from New Braunfels, TX and is the daughter of Guy McDaniel, and niece of Nate and Stephanie Janousek, Fun Biz Concessions. She is receiving the $2,000 Visionary Scholarship and will be pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work at Texas Tech University. Autumn shared, “Growing up in the Carnival business, life was always quite different for my family. For the majority of every year, my entire family would come together to run our family business.” When they grew older, they sadly lost their Mother due to cancer, leaving their father with three young children. Autumn said, “My Dad was the only person here to support us, so we became even more involved in the business itself. I loved working on the rides and being able to have this experience. I was able to understand from a young age how important hard work was.” This passion to work hard and care for others will extend to her future career. She explained, “I plan to obtain my degree in order to go into the field of foster care. I hope to use this opportunity to further my knowledge in order to contribute to the legacy of my family’s business.” While in high school, she was the Head Editor and Chief Writer at her school newspaper, on the yearbook production staff, and contributed to various school organizations. She has stood out for her “kind demeanor and a passion for helping others,” and is described as a “remarkable young woman.” ►► “Scholarship Recipients” continued on page 26 September 2022 NICA News


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Entrepreneurial Scholarships Allessia Ukmar

University of Colorado Boulder

Allesia Ukmar, of Sarasota, FL, is the daughter of Rick and Julie Ukmar, R & J Concessions. She is receiving a $1,000 Entrepreneurial Scholarship and will be attending University of Colorado Boulder to study Pre Law. Ever since she could remember, the Fair has always been her second home. She shared, “Looking back to when I first started working at around the age of eight and seeing how much it has taught me, not only did it teach me good work ethics, but it taught me to always work hard for what I want. Another important thing that I have learned from this Industry is responsibility and maturity, being surrounded by adults all the time and not many kids my age taught me to confidently speak to adults and act older than my age. Everyday I look back and see how blessed I was to be raised in this Industry because of all it has taught me and how it made me the successful person I am today.” The Fair Industry has also influenced her career to be a lawyer: “Seeing how my parents and their friends struggle each year to get foreign workers made me inspired to help. ” Allessia was captain of the Girl’s Soccer Team and participated in many volunteer organizations while in high school. She has been described as handling situations with “grace,” and has “a combination of a positive attitude and the belief that she can continually improve.”

Kahner Hartley

Greensboro College

Kahner Hartler, from Winston Salem, NC, is the son of Cheryle and Kevin Hartley, Carolina Classic Fair, and is receiving a $1,000 Entrepreneurial Scholarship. He will be attending Greensboro College to study Criminal Justice and History. “Ten days before I was born, I was at the Fair!” Kahner shared. “I’ve been to every Fair since and I plan to attend the Fair every year I’m on this Earth! The thing that has made the biggest impact on me are the people.” For many years he helped with exhibit set-up and check-in, acted as a “runner” for the Fair Office and other Fair Departments and helped Concessionaires and other staff as needed. He said, “I have learned many lessons from my experience working in the Entertainment/Concessions Industry. The ability to communicate with many diverse personalities stands out the most.” In recent years, he has worked non-Fair events in security, which will help in his interest in moving into law enforcement or contracted security as a career. He explained, “I have enjoyed my experience working as security for entertainment facilities and hope to expand my knowledge in order to help me advance in the coming years.” In high school Kahner was on the Varsity Football Team, was on the Honor Roll, participated in reading programs for local school children, and volunteered for various organizations. He has “tremendous interpersonal skills,” and is “extremely well-rounded,” with a “drive to succeed.” 26

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Sahian Saucedo Esquivel

Butte College

Sahian Saucedo Esquivel is from Orland, CA, and is the daughter of Maria Elena Saucedo Esquivel and employee of Daryl and Kristen Whicheloe, Southern Oregon Food and Beverage. She is receiving a $1,000 Entrepreneurial Scholarship and will be attending Butte College to become a Registered Nurse. “If you work in the Fair Industry, you know you see hundreds of people everyday; all with different attitudes, personalities, and levels of friendliness.” Sahian has been an employee of a Food Concession for several years: “This job has made me admire people in the Industry who are always so willing to help others.” One of the biggest lessons she has learned from working in the Fair Industry has been adaptation. She explained, “Because you work with different coworkers every day, you need to know how to complement each other’s work to make a cohesive, smooth-running environment.” She wants to use this experience to become a travel nurse “somewhere down the line.” She said, “Thanks to the Industry I’ve sharpened my people skills, communication skills, leadership skills, adaptation skills and have realized the benefits treating others with kindness and respect can bring.” While in high school, Sahian was an active volunteer and athlete, held the position of Vice President in her Student Council, and received a Seal of Biliteracy in English and Spanish. She has been described as “dedicated,” “focused,” having a “strong work ethic,” and as someone who “doesn’t quit.”

Inspirational Scholarships Estella Collmer

Palm Beach Atlantic University

Estella Collmer, from Cape Coral, FL and the daughter of Ryan and Nichole Collmer, Meatball Factory, and is receiving a $500 Inspirational Scholarship. She will be attending Palm Beach Atlantic University where she will study Child Psychology. Estella has been out at Fairs with her parents since she was born. She shared, “Everything about it I loved and still love to this day. My life began on the Fairgrounds, from attending school in the beginning, to now working weekends and Summers with family. As I continue to work the Fairs I learn more, and the more I learn, the more it shapes me into a stronger person.” Now entering her Junior year, Estella is pursuing psychology. She explained, “I wanted to go into therapy and help people, especially children.” However, the future is still unwritten: “Everything I have learned through my years of working the Fairs I have kept with me and applied to everyday life. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me!” Estella has been very active in sports and the community ever since high school. Others know her as someone who “values the power of honesty, communication, and commitment,” and is “accustomed to working under pressure, being accountable, and organizing her time.” ►► “Scholarship Recipients” concluded on page 28 September 2022 NICA News


Save the Dates for 2023

Reserve Your Hotel Room Starting this Month Audrey Poole, Fare Foods Plans are well underway for the 2023 NICA Business Expo and Fare Foods Food Show. The event will be held February 13-15, 2023 at the Sheraton Tampa Brandon Hotel in sunny Tampa, Florida. This year’s theme is “All In!” With our record numbers seen this season, especially in comparison to Post-Pandemic events, this Industry is coming back strong! Come and learn all about the new food trends for 2023 and participate in some exciting new educational seminars and roundtables that will be offered at the event. The websites for registration and hotel reservations will be live by September 16th and you will receive a link via email. If you do not receive the NICA Now! or Fare Foods emails, sign up at or Remember, make your reservations early! The hotel

will sell out quickly. Contact Audrey Poole at (618) 542-2155 for more information. We are very excited about the 2023 NICA Business Expo and Fare Foods Food Show. Watch our social media pages for details on the event and mark your calendars for February 13-15, 2023. Are you “All In?” We look forward to seeing you in February! ▲

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Alissa Rockwell

Pensacola Christian College

Alissa Rockwell, of Sun Prairie, WI, is the daughter of Christopher and Lori Rockwell, Charlie’s / Lori’s Sugar Shack, and granddaughter of Charles Miller, Charlie’s Food Concessions. She is receiving a $500 Inspirational Scholarship. She will be entering her senior year at Pensacola Christian College, pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies of Science and Education, with a minor in Business. She reflected, “Working at Charlie’s Food Concessions my whole life has taught me how to problem solve in high pressure situations, to do things right the first time, and to stay positive and do the best of my ability.” Alissa’s plan is to take over part of the family business: “NICA stands for National Independent Concessionaires Association and I want to be one of the Independent Concessionaires.” She also plans on being a teacher when she’s not working at events. She explained, “As a teacher I will go in knowing that there may be high-pressure situations with kids and now I know how to be patient, to be positive, and to do my best.” Alissa is very active in her community, volunteering for her local church, participating in charity work, and playing music. She has been described as an “exceptional hard worker,” who has “strong leadership skills” and is “poised, confident, and well-spoken.” This year’s Scholarship Program would not be possible without the generous donations of so many of our supporters. To learn more about the NICA Foundation, visit ▲ 28

September 2022 NICA News

September 2022 NICA News


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September 2022 NICA News

From the Camera Roll...

Rey O’Day, Executive Director, Mike Bradley, Consultant, and Jill Albanese, Wisconsin State Fair’s Premier Interior Designer and Competitive Exhibits Coordinator

Congratulations to Sandy Class, CCE, Past President, and Beth Owens, Blue Moon Tavern at the Park, who won a 2022 Best Overall Atmosphere Award at the Wisconsin State Fair

Benno Weigel, Benno’s Concessions, signing up for his NICA Membership while browsing the NICA News in Wisconsin

Randy Reichert, CCE, Past Director, is successfully transferring the ownership of Meggers Road Concessions to Piper Uhl, daughter of John Uhl, Century Industries

It is the third generation of the Boeger/Newman families: Hayden and Mayson Newman, daughters of Mike and Ryann Newman, Fruit Caboose, at OC Fair. Both young ladies said, “We are ready!”

Susan Fraleigh, Butcher Boys, serving up delicious sandwiches at the Wisconsin State Fair

Jeff Thornberry, CCE, Director, and Rey O’Day, Executive Director, met to build the Commercial Exhibits Workshop track for the NICA Marketplace while at the 2022 OC Fair

Longtime members retiring soon: Francine Riggan and Bob Hutchins, Rainbow / Blue and White Concessions, with Rey O’Day, Executive Director, at OC Fair

Fred Pittroff, Giant Ride, not only drives a RED truck he drives a RED scooter, too!!!

Have you attended a NICA-related event? Send your photos or coverage to September 2022 NICA News


“Renewals” continued from page 4 ►► Ronald Hull

Volusia County Fair Association, Inc. Deland, FL (1999)

Christine Iannotti

St. Lucie County Fair Ft. Pierce, FL (2007)

Charles Ivory, CCE µ Famous Gabby’s, Inc. Brooksville, FL (1993)

Steven Jankiewicz

Stacia Markowitz

Mike’s Concessions Inglis, FL (1996)

Donnie Massie

Alpine Amusement Co., Inc. Naperville, IL (2010)

Larry McConnell, CCE µ McConnell Concessions Indianola, IA (1993)

Jim McGuire

Event Catering, Inc. Syracuse, NY (2019)

Du Page County Fair Association Wheaton, IL (1997)

Scott Kolassa µ

Shawn McKinney

Kolassa Enterprises, LLC Churchville, NY (1993)

Kathy Kramer, CVE, CFEE, CMP

McKinney Food Services Hughes Springs, TX (1995)

Helen McPeak

Wilson County Fair Central Washington State Fair Tennessee State Fair Lebanon, TN (1999) Yakima, WA (2006)

James Kropp

Kropp Enterprises, Inc. Green Bay, WI (2000)

Kara Moederndorfer, CCE The Sleek Greek Glendale, AZ (2016)

Dan Leimon

Robert Monroe

Rebecca Leimon

Emilie Morrison

Leimon’s Pizzeria, Inc. Harlingen, TX (2021) Leimon’s Pizzeria, Inc. Harlingen, TX (2021)

L.T. Concessions, Inc. Marion, IN (2007) E.M. Enterprises Lake Wales, FL (1999)

Allen Lindsey

Phil Mostaccio

Don Long, CCE

Karen Oneal

Lindsey Concessions Troy, MI (2006) L & L Concessions, Inc. La Verne, CA (2007)

Linda Lund

Babcia’s Pierogi Buffalo, NY (2019)

Schuyler MacPherson Ten Pound Buns / SDM Concessions, LLC Long Beach, CA (2011)

Dottie Maile

Maile & Son, Inc. Mesa, AZ (2004)

Carole Marcus

Vic Marcus Concessions Hemet, CA (2002)

Completely Nuts, Inc. Arlington Heights, IL (2011)

Jennifer Ramsey

Ramsey Food Service Huntsville, OH (2020)

Jeff Rebh

InnoSeal Systems Charlotte, NC (2015)

Nancy Lou Rex µ

The Sandwich Fair Association, Inc. Sandwich, IL (1993)

K & R Concessions Harrington, DE (2014)

Soni Ryan-Hochmuth

K & R Concessions LLC Harrington, DE (2018)

Brad Schroder µ

Schroder Concessions, Inc. Faribault, MN (1993)

Brienna Schuette

Moxie & Drive Marketing White Bear Township, MN (2018)

Kate Sharpe

Cabarrus County Fair Concord, NC (2003)

Steven Sims µ

Missouri State Fair Sedalia, MO (1993)

Renate Skinner

Skinner’s Amusements Harvard, IL (1998) Iowa State Fair Des Moines, IA (1993) Family A Fair, Inc. Hemet, CA (2008)

Michelle Spivey

Sweet and Salty Concessions, Spivey’s Southern Grill, Inc. LLC Plant City, FL (2004) Wilmington, NC (1999)

Barbara Quaid, CEO µ Ventura County Fair Ventura, CA (1993)

Steve Taft

Kris Ryan

Dale Smith, CCE

Fiske Concessions, Inc. Brooksville, FL (1993)

Destroy Productions Valley Center, CA (2018)

BKE Concessions Muskogee, OK (2020)

OC Fair & Event Center Costa Mesa, CA (2017)

Missy Pfile

Jerry Price µ

Troy Stroh

Michele Richards

Gary Slater µ

Amy Powers

South Florida Fair & Palm Beach County Expositions, Inc. West Palm Beach, FL (2008)

Taft’s Mr. Ribeye Rochester, IL (2003)

Marshall County Blueberry Festival Plymouth, IN (2009) Playland Amusements Garrettsville, OH (2009)

Lorie Stinson

Randy Stephenson

Alabama National Fair Montgomery, AL (1994)

John Stewart

J and J Concessions Inc. Indianapolis, IN (2019)

Tina Tanner

Tracy Thomas

Sweet and Salty Concessions, LLC Wilmington, NC (2000)

Katherine Threatt

Eatery Huts Fair Oaks, IN (2019)

John Uhl µ

Century Industries, LLC Sellersburg, IN (1993)

Rick Ukmar

R & J Concessions, LLC DBA Rick’s Concessions Sarasota, FL (2012)

Monica Urick

Urick Concessions, LLC Carmel, IN (2001)

Stacey Wade

Lake County Fair Association Eustis, FL (1995)

Matt Wallsmith

South Florida Fair & Palm Beach County Expositions, Inc. West Palm Beach, FL (2012)

Rhonda Ward

Collier County Agricultural Fair & Exposition Naples, FL (2016)

Dave Westrum

Westrums Quality Foods Delano, MN (2014)

Judy Wilson

J Wilson Group, LLC Arcadia, IN (2015)

Josh Woods

Greater Gulf State Fair Inc Mobile, AL (2017)

Thank you to all 106 Renewal Members for your continued support! All Renewal Members are placed into the running to win the $2,000 Travel Package in the 2022 NICA Membership Contest, sponsored by Coca-Cola Refreshments. “Together We Can!”


September 2022 NICA News

2022 Membership Contest Leaderboard* Renewal Members ($2000 Gift of Travel) For a complete list, visit

Family Owned & Operated • Serving Our Customers Since 1904

Proudly serving the concessions

industry with their produce needs.

Distributed Through Fare Foods Call 800-651-1601 For More Information

Referrals: General Membership Rod Beach............................................................................. 1 Chris Conkle, CCE................................................................. 1 Carmel Dyer-Pittroff.............................................................. 1 Rusty Groscurth.................................................................... 1 Russ Harrison, CCE............................................................... 1 Mark Hill, CCE........................................................................ 1 Don Long, CCE....................................................................... 1 Timothy Packer..................................................................... 1 Audrey Poole......................................................................... 1 Dale Smith, CCE.................................................................... 1

Referrals: Regional Councils Steve Vartanian..................................................................... 3 Gigi Horowitz......................................................................... 2 Ryann Newman..................................................................... 2 Jan Gary, CCE........................................................................ 1 Ryan Hagy.............................................................................. 1 Patty Tessari.......................................................................... 1

Referrals: Board of Directors Tom Hodson, CCE................................................................. 8 Jacqueline Bradbury, CCE.................................................... 6 Jay Wells, CCE....................................................................... 5 Kathy Ross, CCE.................................................................... 4 Phil Delahoyde....................................................................... 3 Daryl Whicheloe, CCE............................................................ 3 Dan Lusenhop....................................................................... 2 Vincent Nelson, CCE............................................................. 2 Stacey Pittroff-Barona.......................................................... 2 Brandy Arredondo, CCE........................................................ 1 Kim Barr, CCE........................................................................ 1 Sandy Class, CCE.................................................................. 1

Let Gold Medal’s Experience Take Your Business to the Next Level The year was 1931. With just $2,000 and the strong work ethic of founder, David C. Evans, Gold Medal was born. The first product sold with the Gold Medal name was a simple drink concentrate. In the years that followed, the business evolved into a full line of concession equipment and supplies including popcorn, cotton candy, Sno-Kones®, and much more. A lot has happened throughout our history. The third generation of the Evans family now leads the company and the fourth generation is working here as well. From our humble beginnings, we’ve grown to over 500 employees supporting efforts from engineering to manufacturing, marketing to customer service. We’ve been at the forefront of industry innovations, creating new products, continually improving processes and above all, serving the needs of our customers. Put our experience to work for you. Whether you’re new to Gold Medal or a decades-long, loyal customer, we will help you get the most out of your concession business. We’re proud Gold Medal is trusted as the industry’s leading concession equipment manufacturer and supplier, and we are committed to continuing to earn your trust by providing top quality products, service, and support. Together, we will keep making history, now and in the future. You can count on us to deliver snacks, smiles & success!

Gold Medal Products are proudly distibuted by Fare Foods • 1-800-651-1601

Follow NICA on Social Media! Visit or search NICA on social media for the latest announcements, news, and pictures. #TogetherWeCan

NICA Now! Are you receiving our emails? Sign up for our weekly NICA Now! emails by updating your email online and/or subscribing at

*Referral Listing as of 7/31/22. See back cover for more information, rules, and prizes.

September 2022 NICA News



Benefits of ordering Stock Cups » Excellent Product Availability » Cups are made in the U.S.A. » Delivered with your weekly order » Option to have different prints not just one » Outstanding quality » Consistent pricing

Distributed Exclusively Through Fare Foods

1-800-651-1601 •


September 2022 NICA News

National Independent Concessionaires Association, Inc.

For Off ice Use Only

1043 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, FL 33511 Phone: (813) 438-8926 • Fax: (813) 803-8460 Email: • Website:

Date: #: q Member Renewal


First Name:

Last Name:

Name of Business: Physical Address:

City :



Mailing Address:

City :



Primary Phone Number :

Cell / Secondary Phone Number :



Age Range: q 20-35 q 35-50 q 51-70 q 70+

q Other:

NICA News Preference: q Mail q Email

Referred by :

Annual Membership Fees Associate Membership

Regular Membership q

A person or entity who provides services to the Concession Industry.

Regular Member..............................................................$150


Fair / Festival (over 75,000 attendance)......................$150


Fair / Festival (under 75,000 attendance)...................$100

q Retired Member................................................................. $50


Manufacturer / Distributor / Supplier...........................$150

Business / Group Membership


Carnival / Circus Operator..............................................$150


Association / Special Services......................................$150

q Additional Member..........................................................$100 q Employee Member............................................................. $75

Includes five Memberships in one: one Regular Member, one Additional Member, and three Employee Members ($475 value).


Business / Group.............................................................$400

Additional Member : _______________________________________ Employee Member 1: ______________________________________ Employee Member 2: ______________________________________ Employee Member 3: ______________________________________ Regular membership categories Check a category below and provide a detailed description of your company’s services in the next column under Business Description.

Business Description Provide a detailed description of your business, products, and/or services below. This information will be used for your entry in the annual NICA Membership Directory and as keywords to search for your business on the NICA website.

________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________


Food / Beverage


Commercial Exhibitors / Retail / Merchants



Attractions / Entertainment


Cash q






Guest Services

Credit Card #:

General Routing Information List all states / provinces where you conduct your business.






Security Code:

Money Order q


American Express



Expiration Date:


___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance The NICA-sponsored $10,000 Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance Policy is provided to Regular Members. List a beneficiary and a phone number below.

Beneficiary : _________________________ Phone : _____________

Applicant’s signature


Signature of Credit Card Holder q I authorize NICA to charge the agreed amount listed above to my credit card information provided above. I agree I will pay for this purchase in accordance with the issuing bank cardholder agreement.

Automatic Renewal Option q I authorize NICA to make automatic renewal payments for my Membership using the credit card information above. I shall update NICA with all changes to payment information or my intent to cancel automatic renewal payments prior to my next renewal month.

National Independent Concessionaires Association, Inc. 1043 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, FL 33511 Time Sensitive Mail • September 2022 Issue